Newsletter - December 2018
Issue Number 52

AGM: 24 February
Day trips: 3 May, 2 August
Plant Sale: 1 June
Summer Lunch: tbc
Annual Show 7 September.

First of all, the Board of Directors of Mill Hill Garden and Allotment Society Ltd wishes all its members a happy Christmas and a productive harvest in 2019. It hardly seems twelve months since I was writing the last Christmas newsletter and it has been an eventful year in many ways.  The old Trading Hut is now named Selwyn Hall and will, in the near future, be graced by a very suitable and appropriate sign.

At the time of writing (1 December) the Society is in the midst of crisis – a state which hopefully, will be resolved by the extraordinary meeting to be held on 2nd December. During the year, the Committee has worked very hard on behalf of its members.  In particular, the maintenance of the site toilet; the overseeing of tree maintenance; and the installation, at last, of CCTV cameras, all of which takes time and effort.  A very small number of members has been responsible for these activities.  However, we do undertand that many plot holders work full time and have many responsibilities, and therefore little time to spare.

Meanwhile, Robert Schaverein, Plot Secretary has resigned from his post, perhaps only temporarily, and has been replaced  by Pete and Chris Higgs – for which grateful thanks.  Sue Satchell, Treasurer who steered the Society through its journey to independence is retiring at the end of the year. Without her, we would not be in such a positive position.  Several Society members responded to information of our predicament and it has been heartening to hear of their appreciation of the benefits of membership.  Many non-plot holders have also been very supportive. However, all is not doom and gloom and I am pleased to report that since starting this newsletter, the meeting on 2nd December has taken place and three members have expressed a willingness to take on the role of Treasurer.  They are currently speaking with Sue.  We feel happy that this will enable the work of the Society to continue.

In September we held a very successful Annual Show and for the first time in decades actually made a profit.  The Show looked spectacular and we welcomed many visitors.  The work of setting up and taking down afterwards did fall to the hands of the few, although this year we did receive valuable help from the Sea Cadets.  Great help was provided by many members who donated cakes for the teas.  Moira, particularly, is grateful for this and offers thanks to all cake makers.

One failure during the year, and for this we are apologetic, was the cancellation of the Plant Sale.  Sadly we have received some criticism for this.  However, our original date was usurped first by the FA Cup Final and then by Harry and Meghan’s wedding day.  Apart from this, the weather had been very inclement and few members had plants to offer for sale.  This year we hope for better weather in addition to lack of competition from football or royalty.  The Plant Sale will be held on Saturday 1st June, so sow some seeds and take some cuttings and make it a truly great Plant Sale.  Sadly, the Editor’s cutting of spectacular salvias have failed, but she will try again.

Guru organized several outings in the Summer.  One group enjoyed an excellent weekend at Nidd Hall in Yorkshire, although the muesli had run out by Sunday breakfast!  Guru and Indra took great care of us.  We went to Waddesden Manor and Ascott in early August on a sweltering hot summers day, crawling from shade to shade.  The coach was well air conditioned, thank goodness!  Thank you Guru for all your work.

In Summer 2019 we are off for a weekend to Littlecote House in Hungerford where there are well preserved Roman remains as well as a Tudor hall.  We will visit Old Camps (unknown to the majority of us) Hicote Manor (always worth visiting) and Snowshill Manor and Gardens which I have always wanted to visit.  This weekend has already been publicised and is fully booked but it is probably worth contacting Guru in case of any cancellations.  Two other outings are promised for the first Friday of May and the first Friday of August.
Another successful annual event was Robert’s Summer Lunch which was held in June and was deemed to be the best ever.  It was held outdoors on the Jakyll lawn in glorious weather.

Sadly, the Jekyll garden looks overgrown and neglected.  Please, if you have energy and a little time, could you help bring it under control.  Blackberries flourish and ivy abounds, but beneath it all is a very attractive herbaceous border which was created with good intention. Thursday Café continues to be popular and is attended by plot and non-plot holders alike.  If you haven’t been before, do come and visit us for coffee or tea and cake at very reasonable prices.  On 20th December mulled wine and mince pies will be on sale so we hope to see you there. Pete continues to run his popular Quiz Suppers and has organized a further one for December 15th, so please make sure that you have a ticket.  You will enjoy yourself. The Editor cannot face a MHGAS Quiz yet, but hopefully will feel able to join the next one organized by Pete.

We are sorry to report the death of Jocelyne White who died in November.  Jocelyne was a long-time plot holder and member of the Society whose husband, John, held the post of Trading Secretary for a time.  We send our sympathy to members of Jocelyne’s family.
I am afraid that Mark Bonham and Ann Bennett are still on the  list of incapacitated members.  We wish them well and hope for their recovery.  It has been good to see Mark, brought by Dorothy, at several of our recent Thursday Café mornings.  Another member to add to our sick list is Jean Murdoch who has given much support to the Society and enjoyed many of the Society’s visits. Amongst other ailments she has a fractured shoulder.  Also we wish Robert Schaverein a return to better health.

I will close by reminding you of the invitation to the mulled wine and mince pies event in Selwyn Hall (formerly the old Trading Hut) on 20th December and to Pete’s Christmas Quiz on 15th December. Good gardening to you all for 2019. Moira Eagle